Board of Directors

George Holden

George Holden

GEORGE W. HOLDEN, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After receiving his BA from Yale University and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was a member of the psychology faculty at the University of Texas at Austin for 23 years. Holden’s research interests are in the area of social development, with a focus on parent-child relationships. His work, into the determinants of parental social cognition and behavior, discipline and positive parenting, and the causes and consequences of family violence, has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Timberlawn Research Foundation, and, most recently, the U.S. State Department. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and chapters, as well as author of Parenting: A Dynamic Perspective, 2nd ed. (2015) and Parents and the Dynamics of Child Rearing (1997). In addition, he co-edited Children Exposed to Marital Violence (1998) and the Handbook of Family Measurement Techniques (2001). Holden is a fellow of the American Psychological Society (APS) and a member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), the International Society on the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN), and the Society for Research in Human Development (SRHD), where he served as president. He has been or is on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Emotional Abuse, Journal of Family Psychology, and Parenting: Science and Practice. He was a member of State of Texas Task Force to Address the Relationship between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect (Senate Bill #434). He is also currently on the American Psychological Association’s task force on corporal punishment. Dr. Holden is the President of the board of Family Compass, an organization devoted to preventing child maltreatment in the Dallas community. He received the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2010 from the Society for Research in Human Development, the Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Prism Award in 2011 from Mental Health of Greater Dallas, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center on the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University, Chicago in 2014. He is married and the father of three adult children.

Twitter: @DrNoSpank

Deborah Sendek

Deborah Sendek

Deborah (Deb) Sendek, M.S., served as the Program Director of The Center for Effective Discipline, a program of the National Child Protection Training Center. After working over 30 years with children and families, she is convinced we must take a firm and unified stand against hitting children. “Besides the current solid research, common sense tells us our parental task of teaching children right from wrong is inconsistent with a role model of using aggression and force. Let us stand together in our commitment to end the hitting of all children.”

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George E. Davis

George Davis, MD is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who currently serves as the Director of Psychiatry for the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families. This state department encompasses all essential state services for the children of New Mexico including early childhood development, child protection, and juvenile justice. Although Dr. Davis is located within the juvenile justice division, the department recognizes the causative links between early neglect, interruptions of care, and later delinquency, and, thus, he serves across the several divisions of child services.  Dr. Davis also serves as a Fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy.

Dr. Davis earned his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed his psychiatry residency and child fellowship at the University of New Mexico. He previously served there on the faculty at the School of Medicine as Residency Director and Division Director of the Child and Adolescent Division and continues to teach and supervise there on a limited basis as adjunct faculty. In addition to the University and State service, Dr. Davis previously worked for five years at the Indian Health Service, providing care for several of the pueblos and tribal hospitals and clinics in New Mexico.

His primary areas of interest and expertise are delinquency as an outcome of early neglect and abuse, extreme behavioral disorders in young children, psychopharmacology, and systems of care for severely disabled and under-served populations.


Robbyn Peters Bennett

Robbyn Peters Bennett, LPC, CMHS works with at risk children who have suffered from early abuse and neglect.  She believes we can end child abuse in our lifetime. To that end, she promotes non-violent parenting and is the founder of StopSpanking.  Robbyn lectures nationally on the topic of trauma and the effects of harsh punishment.  Her TEDx talk addresses how spanking is on a continuum of family violence contributing to long-term health problems. StopSpanking is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending violence against children by raising awareness of the dangers of spanking and by promoting parenting beyond punishment. StopSpanking focuses on research about the effects of violence, spanking and other forms of abuse on the child’s developing brain.


Ellen M. Chiocca

Ellen M. Chiocca, MSN, CPNP, RNC-NIC is a PhD student in nursing at the University of Missouri and a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) in Chicago. After earning her BSN from St. Xavier University and MSN from Loyola University Chicago, she was a member of the nursing faculty at Loyola University Chicago for 22 years, and DePaul University for two years. Ms. Chiocca’s research interests involve the study of adults’ attitudes and beliefs about the corporal punishment of children. She is a member of the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA), the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), and the International Society on the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN). She has authored numerous articles and a textbook, Advanced Pediatric Assessment. Ms. Chiocca initiated a No Hit Zone in a homeless shelter where she was working as a PNP, and was a researcher on a study that examined health care providers’ attitudes and beliefs about the corporal punishment of children. Ms. Chiocca is married and is the mother of a teenage daughter.

Across the U.S. and around the world, there are individuals and groups committed to ending corporal punishment of children. In the U.S., campaigns to end the practice began as early as the 1820s. More recently, the Center for Effective Discipline in 1987 began addressing the problem and coordinated the efforts of the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools (NCACPS) and End Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH-USA). Other groups in the U.S. currently active to end the practice such as Parents and Teachers against Violence in Education (PTAVE),,, People Opposed to Paddling Students (POPS), and The Hitting Stops Here.